The Importance of the Joker

The Jokers of the Pack

In a pack of playing cards, there is the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and the other numbered cards which comprise the full set of 52. These cards have a different value, suit or family, and can be utilized in a variety of permutations in the construction of numerous games.

There is an interesting comparison here with the corporate organizational structure where there is the CEO, General Managers, middle management and the workers. Each business uses their “cards” to differentiate their “playing hand” to try and achieve a competitive advantage. However, with many companies using similar cards, the game can be tough unless one player has a trump card which can provide a winning move.

This unique and powerful trump card is typically the Joker which has the ability to transform into any other card in the pack. In business, the “Joker” accepts no assigned job title or limitation and readily takes on any senior or junior role that is required to win the game.

In business we need more “Jokers”. These are employees that are not intimidated by the existing organization chart, nor the other players, and are prepared to provide the required strategic and timely moves into the business game to achieve success. They play within the rules, but they think creatively and with purpose.

So, to ensure that your house of business cards does not crumble under external stress, I encourage you to make sure that you have a good supply of Jokers in your deck!

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4 Comments

  1. Houda

     /  July 7, 2013

    Great concept! It is not easy to be a joker, you need to be very adaptable and inderstand the in and outs of the business.
    Interestingly, IDEO have different cards for their innovation game: They are grouped as the learners, the organisers and the executers. In fact, they have 10 different cards in their deck: http://www2.latech.edu/~dehall/LWTL/ENGR122old/notes/7_10_faces_of_Innovation.pdf

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  2. Yes…..you could call them the “corporate stirrer”!

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